Is the last week of April too early to plant soybeans?

Early planting is one of the best management practices to increases your soybean yield. Research has proven it. But can we plant too early. This a good question and there is little data from Ontario available as generally we do not have the opportunity to test. Most of the northern tier states recommend the first two weeks of May at the best time to plant soybeans. Only when in Indiana, Illinois, and southern Iowa do we see recommendation for late April planting.
Is it worth the risk? If I was confident as a grower I could get all my soybeans in the ground before May 15th I would probably avoid an April planting date for the bulk of my soybean planting. Would I try a small field with two or three planting dates as an experiment? – Definitely. When will you have another opportunity to plant soybeans in April and test planting dates on your farm? Try a field with April, early May and late May plantings.
Critical success factors to early planting:
1) Plant into a good seedbed – do not ‘mud in’ your soybeans
2) Seed Treatment – Protect your seed with Cruiser Maxx
3) Check Planting depth – moisture is critical but 1 – 1 ½ inches should be targeted
4) Plants in warm soils – if we get a stretch of cold day and night temperatures – wait.
5) Poorly drained and compacted soils increase seedling diseases – avoid cool wet soil conditions when planting.
6) Monitor for Bean leaf beetle as they target early soybean fields.
Safe planting.


Corn Planting at record pace.

Contributed by: Deb Campbell, District Manager, Western Ontario

Corn planters are heading to the field at a record pace this spring. The steady pace of planting into excellent soil conditions is leading guys to wonder “How much corn is too much to have planted today?” No one is really pushing too hard but the acres planted are adding up quickly and well ahead of “normal” planting dates making guys feel a little uncomfortable. The province is on track for 40-50% of the corn acres planted by Apr 24th if the weather stays good.

This comes down to risk and looking at the pros and cons of these early planting dates. One common scenario being played out in producers minds is that the corn will emerge and develop to the 6 leaf stage by late May/early June. What if there is a late frost. While replanting concerns are a real risk, the reality is this occurs about once every 8-10 years. One way to manage this risk is to leave your low lying/north facing/frost prone fields for later planting.

Another scenario being discussed is the soil temperature being too cold. Soil temperatures have been ranging from 5-70C at night and 13-150C during the day(between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm). While not ideal for germination these soil temperatures should not deter rate of planting. Final emerged populations on these early planting dates tend to be lower. Typically 5 – 15 % final plant stand loss under these conditions are common. Cold temperatures may lead to an increased impact on seed mortality, coleoptile tip freezing, etc but these could be offset by using the upper end of the recommended seeding rate. To help manage this plant your loam and sandy loam soils-they will be drier and warmer, south facing slopes, fields with less surface trash-cleaned tilled or into soybean stubble.

On the plus side, acres planted per day and number of planting days required to get your corn crop in are good benchmarks to measure your planting progress by. A solid start to your acres in this planting window takes the pressure off later. Two and even three separate plantings also has benefits of mitigating risk from various pests, diseases and weather related events.

Regardless of your decision to keep planting or hold off for later, hopefully you are enjoying the early start to 2010. Safe planting.

Two new Special Food Grade Soybeans for 2011

Contributed by Bruce Irons, Regional Manager, Western Ontario

Two new and exciting Non-GMO soybean varieties have been bred and registered by Syngenta Seeds Canada Inc for commercial release in 2011.

S07-D2 is a 2700Hu, yellow hilum variety with high protein levels and strong agronomic qualities. The variety has a yield index of 100% and would be a suitable companion to S05-T6 and S10-B7, with higher protein levels.

The variety S09-L6 is slightly longer in terms of maturity and it’s most striking characteristic is the very high protein levels that we have seen on a consistent basis. Protein levels in excess of 47% are not uncommon in this yellow Hilum variety. The yield index is not as high as the S07-D2 but the superior protein levels are attracting a lot of interest from local exporters and buyers in the East. We look forward to introducing them to farms in 2011.

Planting Corn in April

“I never plant my corn until after April 25th or I never plant my corn until May” We have either heard these statements made by other farmers or even made them ourselves. Are the statements wrong? Not really as it comes down to more than just a date on the calendar. With all the data that has been generated on planting date in the past number of years the main conclusion is plant before May 10th. Syngenta Agronomy Research states that planting date has little influence on yield potential prior to May 10th (R2 = 0.0085), with all other agronomic and management factors (fertility, population, seed depth, weather, hybrid selection, etc.) playing a more critical role in determining yield potential. Research indicates that 46% (R2 = 0.4613) of the variation in yield potential after May 10th is due to planting date and that farmers should expect to lose on average a bushel a day for every day planting is delayed after May 10th.(See attached chart)

Will planting in mid April increase my yields over early May planting? Not significantly. April planting allows you to get this operation completed at a less stressful pace (remember rushing to plant corn last year) allowing you to manage all the above factors to the best of your ability.

Should I plant before April 25? If the field is fit and conditions are favourable for germination and growth and as Clare Kinlin Regional Manager in Eastern Ontario says “it won’t grow in the bag”. Plant the acres you feel comfortable planting at this time and have a safe planting season

Corn Population Management

We are often asked what the best planting rate for my corn is. Syngenta Agronomy Research has studied this since 1992 over a wide range of hybrids, maturities and yield environments. The goal of this study has been to help farmers understand how yield environment, grain prices, seed costs and hybrid population response influence planting rate recommendations.
Population Response Factors
Yield environment – Optimum planting rate increases as the overall field yield potential increases. Yield response from changing seeding rates is more visible in higher yield environments.
Hybrid response – Hybrids differ considerably in ability to increase yield at higher or lower than optimum populations. Syngenta Agronomy Research provides population response scores for most key hybrids (Ask your dealer for the most current Hybrid Planting Population Adjustment Chart).
Economic factors – Optimum planting rates for maximizing returns (calculated as commodity price times yield less seed cost) are always lower than optimum planting rates for highest yield. Optimum economic planting rate increases as commodity price increases, although seed cost influences seeding rates much less. (The chart below compares several planting rates and commodity prices.)

For all the details contact your NK dealer or reply here.

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